Saturday, June 21, 2008

Dinner With Friends and Steak for The Kids

Last week, during one of my daily "bitch and gripe" sessions when I was distressed over not being able to find any Velveeta cheese to make broccoli and cheese sauce with, I got a comment from "Anonymous" who said I should try Roquefort cheese with broccoli - and pasta - it IS absolutely yummy!!! I made my own version - as a broccoli casserole, sans pasta - for dinner last night - and served it to guests...

I par-boiled the frozen broccoli - forget getting fresh here - if it is imported you have to purchase it by little fist sized-florets - not the entire head - and each "floret" costs between 12 and 16 Riyals - so it would cost about 80 Riyals for an entire head of broccoli - yes 80 Riyals - which is about $24.00! If you purchase the local broccoli - there is almost always some sort of fungus on it - mold? - I don't know what it is - but it is a complete turn off. I stick to frozen. Anyway, I par-boiled the frozen broccoli. Then I very liberally sprinkled crumbled Roquefort cheese on top of it and gave it a quick toss - each bite of broccoli is ooohhh SOOOOO good with a taste of the cheese... and put it in a 9" X 9" baking dish. I melted a couple tablespoons of butter and mixed that with a cup or so of seasoned bread-crumbs, put the butter bread-crumb mixture on top of the broccoli and Roquefort cheese and stuck it in the oven for 30 minutes at 350°. It was fabulous!!!

I made a tomato salad - tomatoes, black olives, red onion and some feta cheese - which sat in the refrigerator all day marinating itself in the Italian salad dressing I cover it with. So easy. So quick. Little fuss or mess and very, very good. One of my DH's favorites.

Also served were sautéed mu
shrooms, rolls from the bakery - the hard "crusty," chewy ones... And, steak on the grill... I bought several packages of U.S. tenderloins - not cheap - about $15.00 per steak - per small steak! U.S. beef is expensive, here. I have eaten almost no meat for the last six or eight months - just because I don't enjoy the taste of it any more - or the "consistency" of it - and if I'm not going to enjoy eating it, then there is no point... But there is a big difference in the taste of U.S. beef and beef from Australia or Brazil - which are our choices. Beef from Australia and Brazil even smells different than U.S. beef. People say you get used to the taste, but I couldn't get used to it when I was eating meat, so I don't buy it - and stick to U.S. beef. I do, however, always buy a small steak for The Kids - and, no, they don't get the more expensive U.S. beef - usually...

DH cooked all the steaks to order and we ate outside on the patio - it was a lovely evening - warm, yes, but not unbearable. After we ate, I cleared the food off of the table and took it all inside - there were three steaks on the platter left over - one of which was The Kids' steak - and two small tenderloins. I wasn't outside very long, before I went back inside to the kitchen to refill a couple of beverages - and that's when I realized that my Kids had quite impatiently helped themselves!

The Baby was caught in the act - red-handed - chewing her steak on the floor - and was very, very reluctant to give up her "prize," one of the tenderloins, which I had to take away from her because what they - the Kids - had done was naughty. Very naughty. The Boy raced for his crate before I could even raise my voice - his steak or steaks - having been already consumed. Oh, they knew. They knew... There was steak "juice" all over the floor and the platter on the counter was empty - no steaks. The Kids could not and did not resist the temptation - and really - it was my fault - for setting a plate of such delicacies on the counter like that. I should have immediately wrapped the two tenderloins up and put them away, and then cut up the Kids' steak and put it in their bowls. [But for a couple of incidents where butter was left on the counter within reach - one time, each - The Kids have never helped themselves to anything on the kitchen counters!] I never heard any commotion from inside taking place during the "great steak caper" - but then, when you have a Great Dane - it is not like he has to jump up or put his paws on the counter to help himself to anything he wants... And I'm sure it was only because there was so much steak that I heard no snarling or growling between the two of them which would have alerted me to something going on. Nope. So they both had steak - almost all of it!


  1. the "good" anonymous poster6/26/2008 03:34:00 PM

    Glad you enjoyed it! and, don't let my fellow anonymous poster get to you. The Internet is full of morons screaming for attention. I personally read your weblog to give myself a mini culture shock. I'm an American working in Germany, so there's just an awful lot of little things I take for granted ... like having the right to drink wine with dinner, or the right to call the cops on unruly neighbors' kids.

    Are there any "positives" to living in Saudi Arabia that you'll miss in the US?

  2. Good question, "Good" Anonymous. Very good question. The "positives" are, especially right now, far out-weighed by the negatives. But yes, there are a couple of things that I will miss: The weather. Really. I love the heat; I love the sun! It can be 100 degrees out - or warmer, if there is no humidity, every single day and I'm happy, and the HOT sun! Even on the hottest days in North Carolina [home], they are humid and cannot compare to the dry heat, here, that I so enjoy. My lifestyle. Never before in my life, until we moved here, did I have a "houseboy," a gardener and a pool guy all pitching in and assisting me in running my household. For right now - that's ALL I can come up with...


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